The latter won out. Athletic were the better side throughout the game and earned a magnificent victory to start the Marcelino era with a bang. They twice came from a goal behind to win 3-2.
Griezmann got his and Barcelona’s second as the game entered its final stages. Alba played a smart one-two with Ousmane Dembele before crossing for the French striker, who finished coolly to get Catalan noses in front.
There was to be a late twist in the tale, however – Athletic got back on level terms. Muniain whipped in another quality delivery to find Asier Villalibre, who smashed the ball into the back of the net to take the game to extra-time.
Los Leones scored another in the first-half of extra-time to take the lead. Muniain was involved again, feeding the ball to Inaki Williams, but this was very much an individual goal. Williams cut inside on his right foot before unleashing a stunning strike into the top right corner, giving Ter Stegen no chance.
Insult was added to injury for Barcelona late on when Messi was sent off for the first time in his club career. The Argentine was caught punching Villalibre in the back of the head by a VAR review and was subsequently shown red.
Lionel Messi straight red card against Athletic Bilbao 120+1'pic.twitter.com/HxFGgvDziV
— noobfcb (@noob_fcb) January 17, 2021